How can iron deficiency be prevented?
The enrichment of foods with iron seems to be a cost-effective method for the prevention of iron deficiency present. A newly identified iron compound can be easily absorbed by the intestines, without compromising the food quality.
A research collaboration with the Chalmers University of Technology, the ETH Zurich and of the company Nestlé has shown that iron deficiency can be prevented by the enrichment of food with a specific iron compound. The results have been published in the English scientific journal “Scientific Reports”.
Which people are particularly affected by iron deficiency?
Two billion people in the world suffer from iron deficiency. Particularly common women of child-bearing age, infants and adolescents are affected. Severe iron deficiency can lead to preterm birth, increased disease and mortality risk for mother and child, as well as to an impaired development of brain function in children, reports the researchers.
Increased risk for people in low-income countries
On the seriousness of the Situation in low-income countries, where the diet is mainly plant-based is the most. Cereals and legumes are rich in iron, but the iron for uptake by the body is not available. This is mainly due to the fact that these foods also contain Phytate, which form insoluble Compounds with iron in the intestine is formed, which inhibits iron absorption, says the Team.
Iron enrichment is effective and cost-effective
A cost-effective way to prevent iron deficiency, particularly in low-income countries, is the iron fortification of foods such as Bouillon or broth. Unfortunately, from the intestine absorbable iron tend to be easily compounds to be chemically reactive, and therefore affect the color and taste of the food. It is also possible that the treated food to spoil.
Disadvantages of stable iron compounds
Conversely, stable iron compounds, such as, for example, iron(III)-pyrophosphate, which is used for the iron fortification of Bouillon, for the intestine is difficult to reabsorb.
Connection combined efficacy and tolerability
The big challenge is to find a compound that is tolerated and effective. It could be a new connection with monoferratischem Phytate (Fe-PA) produced. Thus, the connection from the casing can be easily absorbed, it is bound to amino acids. Previous studies have already shown that this process contributes to iron compounds better absorbed.
Several important factors were investigated
The stability and the effect of the preparation was tested for taste, color and smell. Then the researchers examined the absorption of iron in human intestinal cells in contact with the broth, which was enriched with different variants of the Fe-PA connection. The result was very positive. As the speed of the iron uptake of the new connection with the iron sulfate was compared, it showed that the intestinal cells were exposed to all the different varieties of enriched broth, and showed a good absorption of iron.
Iron absorption was extremely increased
In a parallel of published human study by the Nestlé research center in Lausanne and the ETH Zurich, it was found that the iron absorption from hydrolysed corn protein compounds enriched broth was twice as high as in the case of iron pyrophosphate. When you Test the connection in foods containing iron absorption inhibitors such as, for example, maize porridge, was the Absorption, in comparison to iron(III)-pyrophosphate even five times as high.
It is hoped that the new iron compound in Bouillon and stock cubes could be used in low-income countries, in order to reduce the Occurrence of iron deficiency, the research team reported. Thus, the disease could – and mortality rate are reduced in these countries, in particular in women and children. Before further research work required, however, to ensure that no unwanted side effects. (as)